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Saturday, January 9, 2010


the inner path

Again, last night was an ongoing dream of writing you as fast as fingers could go, racing to keep up with my mind that was on its own. The dreaming was like being awake sitting here looking at the monitor. I was at my friend Pat's house in upstate NY making a sandwich. I toasted two pieces of white bread, spread jelly on both pieces, put them together, cut them in half. I picked one of them up to bite it. When my hand reached my mouth I woke up and the hand was empty. Fell back into sleep and it happened again at my friend Lucas Pasley's house having coffee. I picked up a cup to drink. When my hand reached my mouth I woke and the hand was empty. Again, back into sleep and writing as fast as I could go to keep up with my mind. The whole monitor was covered with the yellow and red sparks, hundreds of thousands of them dancing all over the screen in apparent random. The faster I wrote, the faster they danced.

My dreams over the last several years have become more and more like everyday life, the things that happen in them, such that there seems to be little to no difference. I remember at Jr's sleeping, a few times I'd talk with somebody in a dream, reach out to shake hands, wake and nobody's there. A few times in dreams there, I'd wake in my bed at home and find myself on Jr's floor, disoriented for a second. My dreams used to be dramas, but it's been a very long time since I recall a drama dream. It's just everyday life in my dream world, which I'm happy with. Younger, I thought everyday life the most boring place to put my attention. Now I find everything else boring.

I love it when I wake up reaching for something that isn't there, the transition between the two mental states of "awake" and "dreaming" so nonexistent I see no seam between the dream and awake perceptions. Without really knowing it and without understanding it, I can't see our "awake" perceptions could be different from "dream" perceptions as they're both happening in the same head, both based in the same experience. I think when I was a kid dreaming of monsters and deranged people attacking and sometimes catching me, the dreams were visualizations of the trapped feeling in childhood of not being able to make any decisions for myself, directed not to do this and that, directed in everything but my own mind, which was my private property and took a life of its own, for which I'm grateful. Daring to do anything not directed, or let it show that my mind doesn't agree with what's going on meant I'm in trouble. After awhile I get used to the trouble, because it's in process no matter what. That gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to do and get in trouble anyway. Since "in trouble" was the ongoing experience, getting in trouble for something I enjoy that I do on my own isn't half as bad as in trouble because somebody's gotta pay. It's not bad at all really. It's an experience of self-assertion when self is at stake and self is all one has.

Sometimes, even in recent years, a feeling of guilt will sweep over me for no reason I can find. I believe it's dust particles of a condition long in the past where I was ruled by guilt and kept in the condition of feeling it all the time. Weaning myself away from continuous guilt over years and years of seeing it and throwing it off, I've come to a place I refuse to be motivated by guilt. When someone pulls a guilt trip on me, I just say I don't do guilt any more. Does that ever set off out-of-control alarms! What? Somebody that makes his own decisions! A Radical. A Nihilist. A Communist. Somebody that can't be controlled with wise cracks. Be careful around that guy. He doesn't feel guilty for anything. lol

I remember Patti Smith in her ranting recital called Babelogue, "I'm an American artist. I feel no guilt," how radical that sounded in 1978 on her 3rd album. The deal is, start paying attention to my own thoughts, words and actions, and I quit doing and saying things that cause guilt. See before saying it that whatever I might say to somebody in a heat of smug temper might be the wrong thing to say, and a second of self-censorship before speaking could bypass the guilt that follows saying something stupid. It's something I do have control over. Some of the time. When it's all the time could be heaven on earth. That wouldn't hurt nothing.

I said I didn't know what I was writing in the dreams, but what I've been writing here struck me just now as the same feeling in the dream. The same passion. Not the excitement of thinking myself radical, but jumping into that place where awake perceptions and dreams are the same, jumping in there and swimming in it. That's where the fun is. It's a new place I've not had much insight into. I wonder sometimes if it's expectation untested. This came to me by surprise. It's something new in what's going on within. It feels like another step closer to intunement. I welcome them all. I know you've had similar experiences. Every step opens one's inner view considerably. I don't know what's going to reveal itself next or when, but seeing that it occurs every once in awhile tells me these inner stepping stones are my path and I'm falling forward. Slow but sure, like the fabled turtle. You can outrun a rabbit? Sure.
Lucas Carpenter first said it in an email this morning that I'm hallucinating. Those $10 a pop flu pills pack a whollop. I have 3 more nights of writing red and yellow sparks as fast as a woman in a sewing factory sews seams. I confess without guilt I enjoyed release from the head-to-foot misery in a psychedelic expression of what I was feeling. It gave me insight into what I was feeling that I deeply appreciate. If this were a marketing survey asking if I felt the product did what I expected it to do, it did. That was to get rid of the flu.
This morning I was out the door in 9 degree air driving slowly to the radio station. I felt able to do that when I woke. The contagious part is past. This morning was North Carolina music, the early years of recording, like Charlie Poole, Grayson & Whitter, Dock Walsh, JE Mainer, Clarence Green, Red Fox Chasers and a bunch of others. It was a good hour of good listening music. Sitting in that little studio with the door closed I become one with my listeners. I hear what they hear and love it with them. This is what I love about my listeners. They love this music. It's not a lot of people, but the people that listen love it. They're the people I play the music for. They're the reason I paid what I had to pay to be well enough Saturday morning to get me to the station on time. One day sooner and it wouldn't a-got done.

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